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SOUTHWEST AIRLINES SALUTES MILITARY HEROES FROM COAST TO COAST BY GIVING BACK

cwelch
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To honor our more than 750 Employees who currently serve in the National Guard and Reserves, along with thousands of Customers who served or are serving in the armed forces, we’re proud to call November “Military Heroes Month.”

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating our country’s service men and women this month. We’ll begin our “Military Heroes Month” with The Mission Continues, a nonprofit organization out of St. Louis that endeavors to build an America where every returning veteran can serve again as a citizen leader, and where together we honor the fallen by living their values through service.

On a special note, we’d like to congratulate this innovative group. On Thursday, November 4, The Mission Continues was given the Manhattan Institute’s prestigious Social Entrepreneurship Award. The Manhattan Institute established the social entrepreneurship initiative in 2001. It combines research, writing, public speaking, and events on the role of nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations with an award program which recognizes the best of America's new generation of nonprofit leaders. In the years since its establishment, the awards have recognized individuals who have founded organizations effectively providing services addressing key social challenges.

Congratulations to The Mission Continues! We’re proud to support your cause. 

Take a look at the “Military Heroes Month” events. We might be coming to a city near you.

11/6-11/7 – Official Airline of The Mission Continues Veterans Day Weekend, St. Louis
Southwest Airlines will bring together Fellows of The Mission Continues for a weekend of service and celebration. The Mission Continues endeavors to build an America where every returning veteran can serve again as a citizen leader, and where together we honor the fallen by living their values through service.  Southwest Airlines was one of the first corporate sponsors of this organization and has supported their work for the past three years.

11/9 – Operation Freedom Bird Send-off, Phoenix
Operation Freedom Bird provides a unique healing journey to Arizona's veterans of the Vietnam War, giving them an opportunity to confront their feelings, share their experiences, and pay tribute to their fallen comrades-in-arms in a supportive environment of fellow veterans and counselors. Approximately 50 veterans have been selected to participate in a four-day visit to the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington, D.C. This is the 12th year Southwest Airlines will support this organization and trip.

11/11 – A Million Thanks, Nationwide
Southwest Airlines will join the efforts of the A Million Thanks organization by providing its Customers in airports and onboard the aircraft with a postcard and an opportunity to write a letter of thanks and encouragement to U.S. Military members on Veteran’s Day. Southwest will ship the postcards to service members at no cost to the Customers. A Million Thanks is a year-round campaign to show appreciation to U.S. Military men and women through letters, emails and cards.

11/11 – Veteran’s Day, Nationwide
We will make airport and onboard announcements for men and women of the armed forces to priority board and to deplane first, a practice our Employees implement all year long.


11/11 – 24/7 Military Tribute by Southwest Airlines’ Friends & Family - San Antonio
San Antonio Employees will celebrate Veteran’s Day by dedicating a commemorative exhibit entitled “24-7 Southwest Airlines’ Family & Friends Tribute to the Military.”  Local Employees organized this exhibit to pay tribute to the Military members who pass through the San Antonio Airport every day.

11/12 – Operation Freedom Bird – Welcome Home, Phoenix 
Southwest Airlines will welcome home the Operation Freedom Bird veterans in Hangar Five at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport with a ceremony featuring Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and a performance by platinum recording artist Aaron Tippin.

11/12 – Lone Eagle Honor Flight, Nationwide
Southwest Airlines is the Official Airline of the Honor Flight Network and is proud to sponsor the 18 Honor Flights that will take place during the month of November including the Lone Eagle Honor Flight. A Lone Eagle is a WWII Veteran whose application to visit the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C. has been in the organization’s national office for six months or more, yet he or she does not live close to an existing Honor Flight hub. The Honor Flight Network organizes the Lone Eagle trip specifically for these veterans.

11/22 – Helping a Hero, Fort Worth
As a corporate sponsor of Helping a Hero, Southwest Airlines will participate in the unveiling of a new home in Fort Worth, Texas. Helping a Hero provides specially adapted homes for qualifying service members as well as engages the community to provide services and resources for wounded heroes and their families.

11/26 - We Are Thankful, Nationwide
In celebration of the Thanksgiving Holiday, decorative hearts will be displayed on our aircraft with the wording:  We Are Thankful for our Employees, We Are Thankful for our Customers, We Are Thankful for our Family, and We Are Thankful for our Troops.


70 Comments
Fred_P__Warren
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As Vietnam veteran, I would like to express my appreciation and commend your company for what you do for the veterans and to the brave men and women currently serving our country. Support for our troops from company like yours is truly American. Sincerely, Fred P. Warren Proud American
Paula_P_
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Bravo, Southwest ! I traveled from Baltimore to Phoenix yesterday on Flight 938..there was a group of Veterans who had been to DC for Veterans Day on Thursday...your employees in Balitmore boarded the Veterans first....I didn't hear a peep from any other passenger..we were happy to do that little thing to express our thanks to the Vets. Then, when we landed in Phoenix, the pilots had arranged for a water truck welcome (not sure of the exact term, but two fire trucks facing each other and the plane went through the arc of water they both were shooting out)..very classy....more reasons to fly Southwest.
Anonymous4433
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MY HUSBAND, OUR SON AND FATHERS SERVED IN THE MILITARY TO HELP THIS COUNTRY BE A BETTER PLACE FOR NOT JUST AMERICANS BUT PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD. FOR THEIR SACRIFICE AND SERVICE WE ARE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL. AMERICANS BELIEVE IN HELPING AND SHARE GOOD WILL. I PRAY WHAT THEY DID WILL INSPIRE OTHERS TO KNOW YOU CAN NOT TAKE FREEDOM FOR GRANTED. OUR CHILDRENS' FUTURE IS WORTH PROTECTING. A VERY HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN FOR THERE SELFLESS COURAGE TO KEEP AMERICA A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE. GOD BLESS.
Anonymous3333
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always believe in Yourself, You are perfect whole and complete.
LES_SIEGEL
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WHAT ABOUT THE KOREAN WAR ? WE ARE VETERANS ALSO, BUT YOU DONT MENTION US. WE ARE THE FORGOTTEN VETS, EVEN THOUGH WE GAVE OUR LIVES TOO
frank_gallagher
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As a 95 year old Marine, I thank you Southwest for your unwavering support of our troops, veterans and their families.
Tracey_Leake
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My husband and I are both retired and disabled military vets. We only fly SWA. I have had the honor and privilege only once to board the plane first- and that was because it was either Memorial Day or 4th of July weekend. It hasn't happened since. I read above this is a yr round thing. Is this true?
Douglas_Walsh__
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You know, I used to complain about Southwest Airlines giving me only peanuts and crackers on a flight. I also didn't care for the ABC lines, because, invariably, I got stuck in B or C. Well, no more complaints for me, now. Just think about it: SW Airlines may still give out those peanuts and crackers, but they don't charge the exhorbitant fees other airlines charge. In fact, they don't charge ANY fees. They've also never asked for any bailout, as some of the other airlines did. Now, those other airlines are getting fat and rich at OUR expense, with their unneeded fees. As I read about Southwest's efforts to honor our troops, both past and present, I can't help but feel a sense of great pride and I give them overwhelming praise for what they're doing and will do for our troops and veterans. I, myself, am a Vietnam veteran, and a retired soldier with 22 years of service to my country. You go, Southwest Airlines, and may His blessings be upon you.
Denise_Barnes
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I want to thank you for taking care of our Military Men and Women. There has been more than once that y'all have bent over backwards to help us find the best fares to bring my Navy son home for leave. I am now flying to watch my second son graduate boot camp as well. Your fares were the best out there. Yes there were others in the same area, but I would have to pay for my luggage. Thank you once again. Denise, Navy Mom
D_Savage
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Being a Veteran's (who served over 21 yrs) wife and mother of an active duty soldier (who has been in 16 years), I just want to say thank you for all you do to recognize those who have, and are, serving our country in the Armed Forces. God Bless America and SWA! (always our first choice to fly!)
Anonymous3757
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Even before my son became a pilot for SW and my granddaughter became a flight attendant, I loved SW. You really do express LUV and fun. It's been a pleasure to watch you grow and other airlines should follow suit.
Anonymous913
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Thank You, Southwest Airlines, for the tribute to our Veterans.....the men and women who are currently servng and the men and women who have served. My son was in the first Desert Storm back in 1990 and was there the whole duration of the first Desert Storm /.Desert Shield. He returned from Iraq in 1991, as so many others did, with Desert Storm illness. Twenty-one years later he still suffers from this debilitating illness. While there is no cure as yet (except the label PTSD our government gives) but with ever so slowly our govenrment recognizing that something over there did affect our servicemen and servicewomen) ) I want to salute those men and women and all other Veterans, from wherever and whenever they served. To those who struggle every day of their lives with the effects of war and to those lucky enough to have returned healthy....each and every one of you are truly heros. Thank you, A proud mom of a son who served our country
Bruce_MacKender
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Hello, I returned traveled home from Detroit, MI on November 11, and was very pleased by the ground crew when I connected in Midway. At the gate, they asked for all the retired military, military veterans, and activie military to come forward and board and board with the "A" Listed group. While I am a Vietnam Veteran and loyal SWA Rapid Reward Member who maintains a "A" listed status, I held my spot and let the others go to the front of the line. The other passengers cheered and clapped and those who stepped forward were truly touched by the experience. This was such a wonderful, ( and yet simple ), act of recognition to say "thanks to those have served, and those who currently serve", that I saw the blog posting and wanted to share this with you. As I refleted on my day when I returned home later that night, I honestly beleive this was the only acknowledgement I had observed during 1/2 the day I spent at the office and the return trip home to Portland, OR. I believe it is important for you to know just how much these simple gestures and public acknowledgements are to not only those veterans and active military personnel, but to the general public who sometimes forget or overlook the population of citizens who gave their time and were willing to risk their lives for the safety and well being of our Nation. Thanks to you and all the employees at SWA are participating in these programs. Best Regards............................. Bruce MacKender
Anonymous954
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Perhaps you could give special discount to those who serve and served?
Sincerely__Anon
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Recently, at a tumbling class for my granddaughter, four teenage girls approached us with a lot of wispering and giggles, but then thanked my daughter "for her serive" (She was in uniform). I don't know who was more pleased, our family or the giggling girls. Later, two more made the valient effert to say the same to Major C. They also showed a lot of character. It was great. THANK YOU SouthWest for your effort.
Anonymous1183
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Thank you Southwest for honoring our troops in so many ways! My late husband was a disabled Vietnam Vet. He would be so happy to see this. My son served in Iraq. I stand amazed at the honor and courage in which these young men and women serve this country so selflessly to protect our freedoms. These are tough times. God Bless America!
Anonymous545
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Your efforts to recognize our military and veterans is a wonderful gesture of respect and appreciation. Thank you for that. I would, however, like to see a policy of allowing active duty military the privilege of using a rapid reward voucher anytime. There should be no blackouts for active duty military, and when all the alloted rapid reward seats are booked, then a military member should be able to utilize a rapid reward voucher for any available seat . My son, who served 2 tours in Iraq, was not allowed to use a rapid reward voucher in returning to NC from leave just prior to deploying a 3rd time because all the seats designated for rapid reward vouchers were booked. His cost to fly from Austin,TX to Raliegh/Durham, NC was over $400. Is that really taking care of our military? Really! If Southwest Airlines wants to show the soldiers, sailors, and marines that they are appreciated then, show them by helping them out when they need it.
Anonymous14111
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Thanks Southwest for honoring our troops. Big thanks to our troops for protecting and serving our country. Your sacrafice cannot be measured. God Bless your families as well.
Lisa_H
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I took my first SWA flight when I was 15 - in 1968. I have flown many airlines since - but my favorite has always been SWA. You can count on SWA to be there - be on time - feel safe in their planes in the sky - know their staff will be wonderful - have no worry about the flight... and of course - always offer a free soda and those peanuts! And the unique entertainment from the crew is unbeatable anywhere! As the wife of a 22 year Navy vet, and the mother of 5 children ( 4 boys and a girl) who have served, or who are serving now, and one more who WILL serve next year; SWA has always shown great appreciation and support for our men and women who take care of all of us here at home. But then again, SWA always shows support for ALL passengers too!. I don't personally believe in discounting everything for our vets and dependants. We need SWA to stay in business. As a business owner - you have to make some money to be there to offer the great service. Besides - it you discounted prices for vets and dependants - you would have to discount to every person in America because we are ALL dependents of our Men and Women in the Armed Forces! Your rates are already great. Glad to see you opening new routes....I am always excited about the new routes because it means I can fly SWA and feel safe more often. By the way - I am always afraid to fly anywhere - but with SWA - my confidence in you outweighs my fears. Thank you for that.
Rob_Curry
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SW Air simply operates outside the box when it comes to providing excellent Air Travel service in the USA. I feel they are able to see their continued success over the "big guys", seeing the continued success and popularity of the Airline. Innovations in service, and very happy staff make the flight more friendly and enjoyable. Thanks SW for your good work and support of passenger pleasure! Rob
Rob_Curry
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SW Air simply operates outside the box when it comes to providing excellent Air Travel service in the USA. I feel they are able to see their continued success over the "big guys", seeing the continued success and popularity of the Airline. Innovations in service, and very happy staff make the flight more friendly and enjoyable. Thanks SW for your good work and support of passenger pleasure! Rob
Georgia2
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You all are amazing. With all that's going on in the world, you are working so hard to keep us safe and sound. Please know that what you do is so appreciated. I hope you and your family will have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas. I'll sure be thinking of you.
Mary_N
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Thank you Southwest for your recognition of those who serve our country everyday both near and far. A quality airline serving the most deserving.
BB1
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Thank you Southwest, for honoring those who serve our great country. My bf is an Army Vet, and his father served in the Korean war, and lost his life after returning home from his war wounds. The people who serve in the armed forces give the greatest sacrifice one can give, so it is sooooooo wonderful that the airline I LUV to fly is airline that LUVS our esteemed military and is proud to show it!
Denise_Whitaker
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Thank you to all who serve. Here's how I thanked our country's heroes who are now homeless: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/107360518.html?tab=video
M__Schwarz
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Vietnam Vet. '67-'68, Thank you for supporting all Vets and current Troops. What a difference between now and when I came back from Vietnam in 1968. God Bless
Ken_Hines
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I only fly SWA and am proud of the way SWA opererates, honors military people and handles its business -- peanuts, cattle calls and all. I'm a Korean (1952-53) and Viet Nam (1967-68) Vet with the USMC and wish SWA continued success. Thanks for all you do and do so well! I'm currently on line to check flight availability on SWA for Christmas. Sincerely, Ken Hines
Anonymous2182
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Thank you SW for honoring all military personnel, both past and currently active. I was in the navy and my husband served in the army. We currently have two grandsons serving in the marines. We are so proud of anyone that serves their country and feel so good that the military is being honored by so many these days compared to the way it was a number of years back. You, along with a number of other companies that we know of that honor the military every day - our entire family gives you a huge THANK YOU!!!
Kathy22
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As a military family, my husband a Vietnam veteran and career military member , a son and daughter who have served and a grandson about to enter the military, I wholly admire Southwest's honoring our service men and women.
Pat_Ostrosky
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I recently flew from Nashville to Baltimore on November 4, 2010. We had a troop on the plane of 20 service men and they were not even recognized. I'm am glad that I had a chance to thank them at the baggage pick up. Very disappointed in Southwest that day!!!!!
Anonymous442
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Thank you for honoring our men and women in the military! They deserve it and I so appreciate it! It is a pleasure to fly SW Airlines! Most of the flight attendants are funny and strive to make the flight enjoyable which is so helpful whether you are on your way to see a loved one, but especially when you are on the way back and feeling a bit "blue". I love my SW rewards card; just wish I would have signed up for it sooner while my son-in-law was in Iraq. You got me to my destination to be with my daughter many times including when he was first deployed and when she was having her second child and we did not know if he would make it back from his 2nd tour. He made it by the way & is out of the military; safe and sound. He is now serving people as a police officer. Thank you for all you do! You made a believer out of me! SW is the way to go! Keep up your great customer service!
HMCS_M__Holder_
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Thanks to all at Southwest for the fine job each of you do. I am very proud of your support and recognition of Veteran's Day. In this time of companies trying to be politically correct, it is nice to see Southwest pride in the exceptionalism of the American Veterans. God Bless!
M__Hrywnak_Alli
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Thank YOU Southwest for continuing to honor our veterans, servicemen and women. I am fortunate enough to be married to a Veteran who was honored to serve his country. I wish my mom (Navy) and dad (Army/Airforce) - WWII, were still here to hear about your kind deeds. Thank you for NOT forgetting. We LUV to fly Southwest and bring our dog, too.
Jo_Oliver
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Mr. President of Southwest Airlines, As a mother of a son, active in the NAVY as a Lt. Commander,I am so very proud of two things, that can be attributed to SWA. One, and most important, you honor our service men and women, especially for a group that never received the honor they deserved, the veterans from the Viet Nam War. I thanks you also, for not beeing greedy like the other airlines that charge for bags. All your efforts to make SWA a friendlier airline has earned my admiration. We need more businesses like yours. Sincerely, Jo Oliver
LARRY_JANZEN
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I am a Vietnam Era vet, enlisted, and was very proud to serve. I am humbled and gratful to all who have served. Thank you SOUTHWEST for all you do help our soldiers. We love you. Galveston TX
Ed___Mary
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I just want to say thank you. Retired after 30 years in the US Army it is great to see support for our military. It makes me proud that I finally see support for us, all of us from all wars, conflicts and duty details at combat or peacetime. It is just a shame that we have to go to war to get this recognition. Since we are mostly forgotten about at other times. We will still use Southwest Air when we can. See you next week for our trip to Albuquerque. Thank you again
Denise_LA
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It seems that when I am at a SWA terminal lounge and we see our service men and women deplaning, we all stand and applaud them. I do not see that at others. We we're given a Republic and that takes every citizens willing to work to maintain that. No one said that it would be easy and it isn't.Thanks for the people who serve selfessly and do not go on the government dole. I now always look online for Southwest, except for international flights. (now I'll check on the connection for Mexico) If I do not see a price I like, I just don't go at that time.
Anonymous2852
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I met by husband of 51 years when he was in pilot training in the Air Force. He continues to fly privately, but we only fly SWA when going commercial. As a woman owned business, I make sure our personnel always flight SWA on business. SWA meets the mission of offering first class service and service is what counts in today's world. The savings are important to our success also as a small business. We salute all veterans of all conflicts and our company personnel wear red every Friday to commemorate those who served and those serving now!
Pauline_Liss
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My son is stationed at Fort Carson Colorado. I go to visit his family a couple of times a year and I almost always fly Southwest. Sometimes while he is deployed , my daughter in law can't get into Denver to pick me up right away and then it's almost a 2 hour drive back. Is there ever a chance that Southwest will ever fly into Colorado Springs? There are so many military families stationed there, Air force and Army. What a great help that would be for those families to not have to spend a whole day just getting to and from the airport. Thank you Southwest for being the wonderful organization that you are.
Anonymous446
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whenever we are in airport and military group gets off plane, we start clapping and say yeah. others follow. It sends chills down my back. Also offer a camaflouge small Gideon bible. All have accepted and with thanks. To you, thanks for remembering them. LB
Tim_Pigott
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Southwest again continues and lives up to its leadership role, both in its own industry and in corporate America. . The company's support of both veterans in general and its employees who are and have served in our armed forces in particular is exemplary. I didn't need another reason to be a big Southwest fan, but they keep giving them to me anyway. Thanks! ...from a retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel.
ub4257
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As a resident of Rhode Island. I flew southwest ever since they started at TF Greene airport. You have made it affordable for me, to fly back and forth to orlando for years. thank you. Orlando became my 2nd home for 10 years. I ranted and raved to everyone, about the great prices. now, i am locked in South Carolina with these lowlife expensive carriers. , one left my bags out on the tarmac in the rain. nice ..... and they charged me to do that. I WILL DRIVE TO CHARLESTON SOON, AND FLY OUT OF THERE. WHERE EVER I WANT TO GO. ON THE BEST AIRLINE EVER. SOUTHWEST.com AND I WILL STILL SAVE MONEY. AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR TRIBUTES TO OUR VETERANS. KEEP FLYING, I WILL.
Lynne4
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I have been flying Southwest Airlines since its inception and have always found it great! I am very pleased to see our service men and women honored by Southwest as they have given much of their lives to keeping us safe. Many will never return alive, many will have injuries of all kinds, but they thought enough of our country and people to serve. For this they deserve praise and anything else we can do to help them. Thanks,
Anonymous608
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I served in the Strategic Air Command, U.S. Air Force on an IBM missile site during the Cuban crisis and bombers during Vietnam uploaded with nuclear weapons. My oldest brother served in the Navy during the landing of the Marines in Lebanon in the 6th fleet. We are both Americans of Lebanese decent and know others who served during Korea and World War II. What most people forget is that we are all Americans first and love this country and willing to die for it. The most decorated unit in World War II was a Japanese battalion made up of American Japanese while their families were incarcerated in camps. Over46% of the American GI's in World War II had in part or full German decent. Don't demean other Americans because of a few radicals but enhanced them for the good as we are all Americans. God Bless America!
marine_mom
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I would like to thank all our veterans for serving our country....especially my husband who is a retired army veteran.....my son who is a US Marine active duty....and my brother who is serving in the Navy...God Bless them all
Marybeth_D_
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Thank you for honoring our troops. I am a veteran of the 'Cold War'. It was an honor for me to serve my country. Whenever I see our young men and women in uniform I always thank them for their service. It never ceases to amaze me how dedicated and selfless these young people are. They almost get embarassed when you thank them. But don't let that discourage you! Keep giving them priority seating! Keep recognizing them! Keep thanking them!
Lucinda_Lazaro
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I want to thank you for honoring those of us who have served and are continuing to serve. It's not something that we do to get "Kudos", but it's what we do because we love Our Country. I am a Southwest Airlines member and have gotten nothing but excellent service and repsect from the staff everytime I fly. Thank you for remembering us...
Stephen_David_L
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Thank you to all of our military members, past and present, and our military families. Thank you Southwest for this effort.
Frederick_Mickl
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I fly Southwest all the time as I support the state of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Hawaii with educational services for both secondary and Post secondary institutions. In my travels, I have almost never complained about anything. Pilots, attendants, and other flight supporters are friendly helpful and eager to serve. In the spirit of service and in celebration of Veterans day, I would like to not only thank SWA but l would also like to make a recommendation. I would like to recommend that just as you have seen fit to decorate many of your plans with themes, i.e.,(Shamoo, CA State Flag, AZ State Flag, Phoenix Suns, etc...) I would like to suggest that over the next few years, you unveil plans that are dressed to honor the (United States Marine Corps, the United States Navy, the United States Army, and the United States Air Force. You could unveil one a year for Veterans Day for the next five years. Who would not want to board and exit a plan that has the United Stated Marine Corps (Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on her flanks and the mottoes of the Marines, The Few, the proud, the Marines on one side and Sempre Fi (Always Faithful) on the other. Frederick L. Mickle Jr. USMC Ret.
Ann_Hall
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My son is in the U. S. Marine Corps. He has not been home in 8 months and was scheduled to fly home on Saturday. He called us about 10:30 Thursday morning and said he was suddenly given permission to head home. Thanks to Southwest and the flexibility you allow your passengers, we were able to quickly change his flight and had him on an airplane by 3:00 that afternoon headed toward Texas. I want to commend Southwest for not penalizing your passengers when changes need to be made. In September we were scheduled to fly out to see our son, but his schedule changed. It was wonderful to be able to cancel our flight, put our money for the tickets on reserve, and then use that money to buy our son a ticket to fly home. He told us how nice it was that the vetereans and active military were appreciated and allowed to board first. From a very proud military Mom, THANK YOU!